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Philadelphia at Pittsburgh

Flyers end four-game losing streak, keep Pens on skids

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- Robert Esche put a groin strain behind him in a hurry Saturday.

Playing his first game in more than a month, the U.S. Olympic goalie made 32 saves to help the Philadelphia Flyers snap a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"My style is I'm not a guy who needs a whole lot of games," Esche said. "When I was a backup, I played one game a month or two games a month. You have to be ready. That's kind of how I always approached it. I learned to adjust to that."

Esche (12-4-2) made several challenging saves, stopping Sidney Crosby in the slot with the man-advantage toward the end of the first period and Sergei Gonchar on a wrist shot from his left with four minutes to play in the second.

"He was outstanding," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He gave us a chance to win and it was good stuff."

Rookies R.J. Umberger and Jeff Carter scored power-play goals for Philadelphia.

"We were a good team tonight (5-on-5)," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said.

Pittsburgh has lost nine straight and 10 of its last 11.

"We played a strong game," Crosby said. "We're all competing and battling for each other. We're just not getting too many breaks, but for us, we just have to continue to do this. We have to stay with it. Every guy is battling in here and that's huge. Everyone is going the same way and eventually it's going to turn around."

Umberger, a Pittsburgh-area native, gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead when he scored his eighth of the season on a shot from close range on goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Petr Nedved -- playing his first game since being acquired from Phoenix on Friday -- and Sami Kapanen assisted on the goal at 5:51 of the first period.

"It was a great feeling just to do that, to get my team out in front and hear people cheer for me in my hometown," Umberger said. "It was a feeling I can't explain."

Carter made it 2-0 with 5:56 left in the third, beating Fleury on a 5-on-3 power play for his 12th goal of the season. The Penguins have allowed multiple power-play goals in six of their last nine games.

Colby Armstrong scored for Pittsburgh with 3:49 to play. It was the fourth goal for the rookie, who redirected Gonchar's pass from the left corner behind Esche.

The Penguins outshot an opponent for only the 15th time this season and fell to 5-8-2 in such circumstances. Pittsburgh had 33 shots to the Flyers' 26.

Flyers had lost five of their last six coming into the game. Pittsburgh hasn't earned a point in a game since a 6-4 win at Montreal Jan. 3.


  • Fleury's mask was fitted with a small camera for the NBC regional telecast.
  • Philadelphia center Peter Forsberg, tied for eighth in the NHL with 60 points, missed his second consecutive game with an abdominal muscle injury.
  • Flyers defenseman Kim Johnsson was scratched because of concussion-like symptoms.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Robert Esche makes 32 saves in his first game back since Dec. 15. He improves to 12-4-2.  (AP)
Robert Esche makes 32 saves in his first game back since Dec. 15. He improves to 12-4-2. (AP)
Philadelphia  (29-11-8) «1012
Pittsburgh (11-28-9)0011
Three Stars
R. Umberger

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
R. Esche

Saves: 32
Save Pct.: .970
M. Fleury

Saves: 24
Save Pct.: .923

Related Video

Scoring Summary
05:51Power Play - R.J. Umberger (8), Wrist Shot - Assists: Petr Nedved and Sami Kapanen
14:04Power Play - Jeff Carter (13), Snap Shot - Assists: Freddy Meyer and Simon Gagne
16:11Colby Armstrong (4), Tip-In - Assists: Sergei Gonchar and Tomas Surovy
Penalty Summary
04:11Tarnstrom: Hooking - 2 min.
07:40Sim: Hooking - 2 min.
11:16Hatcher: Holding - 2 min.
11:16Hatcher: Diving - 2 min.
11:16Recchi: Cross Check - 2 min.
11:42Richards: Tripping - 2 min.
02:00Stevenson: Fighting - 5 min.
02:00Cairns: Fighting - 5 min.
03:27Talbot: Hooking - 2 min.
07:53Knuble: Cross Check - 2 min.
18:05Richards: Hooking - 2 min.
07:14Sim: Hooking - 2 min.
08:19Recchi: Hooking - 2 min.
09:20Surovy: Slashing - 2 min.
12:59Gonchar: Holding - 2 min.
13:30Lefebvre: Delay of Game - 2 min.
14:43Talbot: Fighting - 5 min.
14:43Meyer: Fighting - 5 min.
Philadelphia6128 26
Pittsburgh14910 33
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